North Coast 500 Fishing
More than a Road
There is a lot more to the North Coast 500 route than tarmac and tyres, this endless list includes fishing.
So you’ve packed the car with 2 weeks worth of clothes, 4 disposable barbecues, 5 crates of your favourite beer and loads of suncream. You probably won’t need to use the suncream but its a good thought. Now you ask yourself, what is there to do around the North Coast 500 route? If fishing is your thing, you’re in for a treat and you best pack your rod, tackle and maybe another crate of beer.
Today we’re going to discuss what fishing on the North Coast 500 is like.
What type of fishing can I do on the North Coast 500?
Maybe the better question is ‘what type of fishing can’t I do?’. Whether fishing by fly, from the rocks or from the boat is your thing, there is an abundance of fishing to be had all the way around the North Coast 500 Route.
For this post we are going to focus on fishing in and around Achmelvich Beach as I have experienced it all first hand. In fact, I’ve just remembered another method… trawling! Another method if you are staying around for long enough is creels, for lobster and crab!
For those that like to put on their best waterproofs and go wading, this is for you. There are an abundance of rivers all the way around the North Coast 500 and indeed in Achmelvich to go fishing on. The chances of catching some trout or salmon are high in these parts. You do need to have a permit for fishing on the rivers around Achmelvich which can be purchased here.
There are also a great deal of lochs around the North Coast 500 route to go fishing in. Once again trout will be about, hopefully you are able to catch a few for the barbecue at night.
I’ll be honest, this was not my best fishing around Achmelvich, though that was down to lack of ability rather than lack of fish.
Fishing from the Rocks
The second way to go fishing that only requires a rod on the NC500 is fishing from the rocks. Doing this, there are a great deal of different types of fish to be caught.
Personally I have caught pollock, cod and mackerel from the rocks around Achmelvich. There may be a couple of others that you can catch from here, though the ones I will list will be in the ‘boat fishing’ section as they are more likely there. The best rod to use here is one that you can cast quite far and reel in, hoping for a bite. A similar method to what I use when winding up my mates.
Boat Fishing on the North Coast 500
This is certainly the way to catch the largest variety of fish on the North Coast 500. The issue may be that boats aren’t the easiest thing to pack in the boot of the car, especially when it’s already half filled with midge repellent. For those of you that are lucky enough to have a boat with you, the possibilities are endless.
The best way to go about this tends to be to use a feathered hook to catch some mackerel to use for bait from mid water level. Following this, bait up a few hooks, head out to deeper water and put the bait to the seabed. It has been known to be a struggle to reach the seabed in some locations due to the vast quantities of mackerel half way down!
Should you make it to the seabed there is a huge amount of fish to be caught. Cod, haddock, ling and pollock to name a few. The ling in particular can put up some fight!
Should you be around Achmelvich towards the end of July, you could take part in the annual fishing competition, where everyone heads out trying to catch fish to win various different categories, including biggest fish.
Yes, that is all the boats heading out to try and get the best spot!
Other Fishing – Trawling and Creels
Both these types of fishing require a boat which may not be for everyone, but trawling can be one of the most exciting ways to fish around. Putting a rubber eel out the back of the boat hoping for a bite from a big pollock is great fun! The point of Achmelvich on the South side is by far the best place to catch them. You get a bite almost every time you pass. North Coast 500 fishing at its finest.
Using creels to catch crab and lobster is playing the long game but it is sure to be successful. I used to put out creels as a kid every night in hope of a big catch and it rarely failed. There are so many crabs and lobsters around Achmelvich, unfortunately they once again require a boat (and some additional kit – a creel or two) to catch.